THE STORY OF THE SOCIAL MEDIA SAMURAI – DIGITAL NOISE & CROWDED SPACES
In American Gangster, Denzel Washington portrayed infamous Harlem kingpin Frank Lucas. In one of his most memorable moments, Lucas exclaims that “The loudest one in the room is the weakest one in the room.” In essence, the statement spoke to the human condition and desire to be seen, heard and noticed in all his glory. The lesson Frank was teaching was that in being the loudest in the room you are affirming a level of insecurity about yourself and inviting unwanted attention.
While the circumstances in my world are not nearly as extreme as Frank’s, It can be said that presently I am in a room where different rules apply. In the digital business space the goal is to get attention and hold it. To do so many must be the “loudest in the room” or risk irrelevant status. This is a difficult way to operate for me. I genuinely believe and understand that the need to stand out is vital. So, many people are now claiming expert, guru, manager status in the world of social media. It’s amazing seeing the growth in this field but it can be equally frustrating when it’s clear that folks aren’t putting in the leg work to truly understand the field they’re now dealing in. Shock and Awe is an often used marketing tool but it doesn’t replace actual knowledge.
The same way I encounter businesses that still view digital marketing as just being on “…the Facebook and the Twitter.” I meet folks trying to sell services without really knowing what it takes to be effective. It’s like someone who spends a day watching basketball highlights on YouTube then tomorrow is trying to offer basketball skill coaching. You don’t get good at this via osmosis. You have to actually get out there and do the work. You can’t just sell folks on the promise of more likes and followers.
Social Media is truly just entering young adulthood so who knows what it’ll be in a few years but it’s established enough that it should be respected just like any other profession. I’ve been on the ground floor and building my brand value well over a decade and even now it’s still an uphill battle getting business to understand what I do. Classic business thinking is clashing with the new views and ethics of a shrinking digital world and many aren’t fully sure how to adjust to that.
Personally, this puts me in a tight position of being one part entrepreneur, yet also striving to sharpen my skills outside of that space. It’s one thing to create a brand and slowly bring value to it but I understand business in the bigger picture. There is worth to be gained by taking a role with an established company and applying my ability to their business model. It’s a 2 tier attack of proving to be an independent self-starter while displaying mainstream corporate dependability. It’s a strategy that will only open the future up for greater opportunity. The hang up is just getting in that door because the reality is that many businesses give a side eye to freelancers and consultants. They fear they are not truly committed to the long-term goals. Guess I’ll have to prove them wrong. I have no time to waste and a Legacy to protect.
The story continues…